We have a test right now of President Obama that I hope he passes with flying colors. See Senator Richard Shelby has decided to put a hold all of the administrations nominees hostage until he gets funding for one of his earmarks back home in Alabama. Yes, ALL of them.
The truth is, this couldn't be teed up any better for Obama to knock it ocmpletely out of the park, but I worry that he won't step up to the plate and give himself the victory that might actually change the dynamic of what has been happening in the Senate.
Here is what I think has been one of the central problems with the White House in terms of communications since Obama has been in office, the fact that they seem to believe that the average American understands what goes on in the Congress, more specifically the Senate, and therefore they don't need things spelled out for them. Well that's about the dumbest mindset they could have possibly adopted. Most people are too busy going along trying to make it every day to even pay attention to the details of what happens in Congress. What they see are either the results or the lack thereof and maybe just a little bit of spin by either side on why something did or didn't happen.
So here is an opportunity to both educate the American people AND put Senator Shelby ON BLAST. As it happens they don't really have to mention him by name, all they have to do is refer to his home state and that will be quite good enough. If President Obama goes on TV and tells the American people that there is a Senator who railed against earmarks last year who has now put a hold on imminently qualifed people who we need to be allowed to take their jobs for our government to work, all so he can get funding for earmarks for his state of Alabama, I predict that there will be a serious shift in public opinion both about President Obama and the two political parties.
Look this isn't the first instance of Republicans being hypocrites and it won't be the last, but its at least one of the most egregious and one of the easiest to explain where average people can understand it without having to think to hard about it. And as they hear it and process it the outrage will come.
But will President Obama actually use this as a "teachable" moment? One can only hope....